Cumberland Gap scares Grizzlies

Published 5:46 pm Wednesday, January 13, 2021

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The Cumberland Gap Panthers played Grainger during the final game of a three game night, January 12.

They gave the home team all they wanted but fell by the final score of 67-60.

It was a tale of two different strategies as Cumberland Gap wanted to push tempo and do their damage in the paint while Grainger seemed to avoid the paint and allow their mid range jumpers along with three pointers to lead their way.

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Both seemed to have great game plans as the momentum surged back and forth between the two teams.

Jake Templin was the catalyst for the Panthers as he scored six of the teams nine points during the opening period. Grainger scored 12 points including three, three pointers.

During the second, Jaden Schertz and Templin did most of the scoring along with Clint Crockett and Braden Ellison. Grainger once again had three, three pointers to propel them out front. They led at the half 32-26.

However, Cumberland Gap came out of the locker room and did not lay down. They kept the pressure on Grainger by scoring 13 and allowing only 14. Crockett was again shooting the ball well along with Schertz.

During the final period momentum changed sides many times. The Gap was down by eight and then a minute later was only three points down. The two teams played as equals during the final period as both dropped in 21 points but the lead Grainger had built up especially in the first half gave them the cushion needed for the win.

Templin played hard and led the Gap in scoring with 20. Schertz nearly matched him with 18. Crockett finished with eight, Lance Owens had five and four others recorded two points each including Logan Daniels, Elijah Lawson, Jon Graves and Ellison.

Leading the Grizzlies was Jaxon Williams with 18 and two others had 15 including Brody Grubb and Logan Foster.

Coach Ryan Whitaker had good things to say about his team’s effort, “I thought that our guys competed for 28 of the 32 minutes. We had a stretch during the first four minutes of the fourth that hurt us and that was the difference in the game. We made several crucial turnovers, missed easy shots and didn’t rotate well defensively during that segment.”

Whitaker added, “We have only practiced four times and played two games since Dec. 15 due to COVID protocols. Our conditioning and timing isn’t where it needs to be due to that but we will get it right. Given the current circumstances with the pandemic, I’m proud of the way the boys battled against one of the top teams in our district. We will continue to get better and hopefully be playing our best basketball when it matters.”


Video: Clint Crockett drains the three

Photo: Jake Templin shoots a short jumper in the paint

Video and photo by Allen Earl